Discover the transformative Faceless Appeal Scheme (FAS) 2021 in India’s direct tax system. This flagship e-governance initiative eliminates physical interactions, ensuring efficiency, transparency, and accountability. Explore its features, filing procedures, and taxpayer responsibilities for a seamless appeal process.
The Faceless Appeal Scheme (FAS) stands as a monumental leap in India’s direct tax reforms, representing a flagship initiative in the realm of e-governance. This article delves into the principles and vision driving this transformative scheme, aiming to eliminate the physical interface between taxpayers and adjudicating officers.
Faceless Appeal Scheme 2021
Income Tax Department
Central Board of Direct Taxes
1. Principles and vision
- Faceless Schemes(Assessments and Appeals)- One of the biggest Direct Tax reforms in India and flagship schemes of e-governance.
- Based on the premise of eliminating the physical interface between taxpayers and adjudicating officers.
- Facilitates filing and completion of appeals through registered e-filing accounts remotely.
- Efficiency, Transparency and Accountability are the key ingredients of the Schemes which seeks to leverage advances in information technology, big data management, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Aimed at bringing about a transformative change in direct tax administration.
2. Features of Faceless Appeal Scheme (FAS)
- FAS-2020 was notified on 25 September 2020.
- Later revised FAS-2021 was rolled out on 28 December 2021.
- The CBDT has specified the class of persons to whom FAS would apply. Broadly, all appeals under Income Tax Act, 1961, other than those involving search/survey issues, cases within the jurisdiction of Central Ranges; International Taxation or Transfer Pricing issues and some other issues fall in the scope of FAS.
- National Faceless Appeals Centre (NFAC) has been setup to implement the Scheme and facilitate the conduct of e-appeal proceedings in a centralized manner including assigning the appeals for disposal to Commissioners of Income Tax (Appeal) (here in referred to as CsIT (Appeal)) units through an automated allocation system.
- The entire process of appeal proceedings(allocation of appeal, communication of notice, submission and hearing [through video conferencing] and communication of appellate order) are carried out in a faceless manner.
- All notices, letters and orders are issued using unique Document Identification Number(DIN)through electronic mode only.
- No human interface and no need to visit the Income Tax Office. All responses to be submitted electronically only on the designated portal using the registered e-filing accounts.
3. How to file appeal before first appellate authority
- A taxpayer can file an appeal before first appellate authority through her/his/its registered account on the e-filing portal on www.incometax.gov.in
4. Procedure to be followed by assessee once appeal is filed
- It is expected from taxpayer to keep his login/access credentials safe.
- Upon receiving notice from CIT(Appeals) through NFAC, the appellant should furnish response/submissions within the date and time specified therein.
- Once appeal is allocated to a CIT(Appeals) Unit, the appellant can also make submissions even prior to receiving notice from CIT (Appeals) Unit, NFAC, using the Direct Communication window in the e-proceedings tab. [For example – for withdrawal of appeal, filing of additional grounds or other issues which the appellant wants to bring to the notice of the CIT(Appeals)Unit].
- The appellant may file additional grounds of appeals to the Faceless CIT(Appeals) Unit specifying the reason for omission of such ground in the appeal filed by him.
- The appellant may furnish additional evidence, other than the evidence produced by him during the course of assessment proceedings.
- The appellant can make a request for personal hearing through Video conferencing. The CIT(A) is mandatorily obliged to grant the opportunity for Video conferencing.
5. Responsibilities of Taxpayers
- Taxpayer is expected to make submissions/response to notices in timely manner only in electronic mode.
- Taxpayer is expected to be aware of his compliance obligations under tax law.
- Taxpayer is expected to furnish and keep safe the email id and contact number required as per tax law in order to receive notices/communications from Faceless CIT(Appeals) Unit.
- Taxpayer is expected to honestly disclose full information and pay the amount due as per tax law in timely manner.
6. How to file Rectification
An application for rectification of appellate order passed by CIT (Appeals), where there is “mistake apparent from record” u/s 154 of IT Act, may be filed through the registered account on the Income Tax e-filing portal.
7. Grievance redressal mechanism
- To redress the grievances of taxpayer in respect of faceless appeal proceedings a dedicated email id email@example.com is in place.
8. Priority Disposal Request
- Appellants are allowed to seek early hearing by giving reasons for such request either to the jurisdictional charge or by writing to Pr.CCIT, NFAC.
- NFAC communicates the instructions for early/priority hearing in suitable cases selected on defined criteria (F.No. 279/Misc/M-102/2021-1TJ dated 29/12/2021).
JCIT (Joint Commissioner of Income Tax) (Appeals)
Cases pertaining to orders u/s 143(1)/TDS are now assigned to JC Appeals.